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Maine Technical College System

News Release
Dr. James Ortiz Appointed President of Southern Maine Technical College

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, November 28, 2001
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. James O. Ortiz, who started his higher education at a community college and now serves as vice president of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, has been appointed the new president of Southern Maine Technical College in South Portland.

The Maine Technical College System (MTCS) Board of Trustees approved the nomination, which was put forward by MTCS President John Fitzsimmons, at a board meeting held this afternoon at SMTC.

"Dr. Ortiz brings to SMTC a rich and diverse background in the community college arena," said Fitzsimmons. "He is known by his colleagues as an extremely strong academic leader, as well as a consensus-builder and communicator. I am confident that Dr. Ortiz will be an exceptional leader for SMTC as we head into an exciting era for the college," he said

Dr. Ortiz succeeds Wayne Ross, who retires in January after serving as president of SMTC — the largest and oldest of Maine's seven technical colleges — for 23 years. Ortiz will start at SMTC on February 4th.

"I am honored and happy to be joining the SMTC and southern Maine community," said Dr. Ortiz. "I look forward to working with the college and the greater community to build on the college's past success and broaden its role in meeting the education and training needs of citizens and businesses of the region," he said.

Since 1998, Ortiz has served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Bunker Hill Community College, a two-year college in Boston. At Bunker Hill, Dr. Ortiz led the college's annual planning process, helped establish a Teaching and Learning Center, built extensive community partnerships, led the college's distance learning initiative, and worked closely with the Faculty Association to create an atmosphere of dialogue and trust.

In prior posts, Dr. Ortiz served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, NY; Executive Dean of Educational and Student Services, and Professor of Sociology at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY; and Director of Academic Support Services at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, MA.

Dr. Ortiz earned an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at Queensborough Community College in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hunter College (also in New York), a Master of Social Work in Community Organization from New York University, and a Doctorate of Education in Policy and Administration from Boston University.

Dr. Ortiz was selected from a pool of 80 candidates following a national search.